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Dumaguete biologist discovers new butterfly subspecies

By: Gresheen Gift M. Libby - Social Media Specialist/CDN Digital | June 20,2020 - 03:49 PM

An endemic butterfly species that can only be found in Mount Talinis, Negros Oriental, has been discovered by a biologist from Dumaguete City.

Dr. Jade Aster T. Badon, a biologist and also an instructor at the Silliman University Biology Department, first discovered the butterfly in 2012 in a research expedition in Mount Talinis, Negros Oriental. He and his companions spent the night at Lake Nailig, which is at the mountain’s crater, and the following morning, Badon noticed yellow and white butterflies that were flying by the edge of lake.

Badon collected two specimens, and at that time he did not realize that the butterflies were new. “I thought at that time that these butterflies might be interesting because I found it at the peak.”

It was only until last year in 2019 when Badon attended the Annual Biodiversity Symposium in Visayas State University in Leyte when he found out that the specimens were actually new.

According to Badon, the Appias phoebe nuydai is a butterfly subspecies that can only be found at higher elevations.

Badon named the new subspecies as Appias phoebe nuydai, which he named after Justin S. Nuyda, an artist and one of the pioneer Filipinos to document Philippine butterflies.

In his research, the ssp. nuydai have a funnel-shaped cell end spot (which same with ssp. mindana, another subspecies), while it is circular in another subspecies called ssp. montana.

Badon’s research was recently published in entomological journal Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo (NEVA)./dbs

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